WARNING: This article contains MASSIVE SPOILERS for Infinity Countdown Prime #1 by Gerry Duggan and Mike Deodato Jr., in stores now.
In Gerry Duggan and Marcus To's Guardians of the Galaxy #146, the first issue of the series as part of Marvel's Legacy relaunch, the team of cosmic superheroes found a new ally in Scott Lang's Ant-Man. The team then secretly joined the Nova Corps to help rebuild it, and in the process went up against an old Avengers villain in the far reaches of space.
Although this villain wouldn't make an appearance in the following four issues of the series, which was cancelled with #150, it turns out that Duggan still had very big plans for this character. In Infinity Countdown Prime #1 (illustrated by Mike Deodato Jr.), the Hank Pym-bondd Ultron returns with a vengeance, and he reveals himself as the next big threat in the Infinity Stone-centric event.
Infinity Countdown Prime #1 wastes no time in jumping straight into the middle of the action. As we catch up with Logan in a snowy forest, it isn't long before new-model Ultron bots attack him. Back in Guardians of the Galaxy #146, we learned that Ultron didn't have to mold new bots of himself as foot soldiers anymore. Instead, he had developed a new ability in the form of an Ultron virus, which was able to turn all manner of alien creatures into Ultron hybrids. The virus takes over the host beings minds, and as they half-turn to metal, they become one with Ultron. These hybrids are the ones that come for Logan, and their goal is clear: They want to claim the Wolverine's Space Stone for their master.
But while Wolverine makes quick work of these bots, the real Ultron is nowhere to be found. As readers might recall, Ultron has gone through a pretty dramatic rebirth in recent years. Back in writer Rick Remender and artist Jerome Opeña's 2015 graphic novel Avengers: Rage of Ultron, the villainous robot became merged with his creator Hank Pym. This new Ultron, which some fans have taken to calling Pym-Tron, tormented Scott Lang in Guardians of the Galaxy #146, and it looks like his evil work is only just beginning.
Before Infinity Countdown Prime #1 reaches its end, Magus, Adam Warlock's evil counterpart, stands atop the planet Ego with the Soul Stone in his grasp. Magus declares himself the one who will assemble to Infinity Stones once more. But just as we think that Magus is revealed as the villain of this new event, he's fatally impaled by Pym-Tron. The half-man, half-machine hybrid then takes the Soul Stone for himself, declaring that he only has to find five more before he can rewrite the universe.
In one fell swoop, Ultron has revealed himself to be one of the main players of Infinity Countdown, if not the prime villain of the sprawling event. By killing Magus with a single blow, we see that the man-machine hybrid is being built up as an incredibly dangerous threat for the entire cosmos. And with an Infinity Stone in his grasp, there is no telling what length his evil will reach.
But perhaps there is still hope left. Before issue's end, we see the real, un-merged Hank Pym, stuck inside the Soul Stone, where he meets with the soul of Gamora. Perhaps this is one of the reasons Duggan added Scott Lang to the Guardians' roster. Scott could be the one to reach Hank, and help save him. The former Avenger is in great need of redemption, and what better way to restore his heroic legacy than by being one who stops Ultron from destroying the universe.